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Subaru Forester vs. Mazda CX-5

The fundamental difference between the Subaru Forester and the Mazda CX-5 is their targeted audience. The Forester aims towards an adventurous, outdoorsy buyer that needs the family utility of a small SUV, but still wants to hit the trail for some fun. The CX-5, on the other hand, aims for drivers who want a fun, dynamic, car-like road presence along with an upscale interior design. Consequently, the Mazda feels sportier and more entertaining when driven rapidly and the Subaru feels more capable and confident when the road (or weather) isn’t so friendly. The front-wheel drive Mazda CX- 5 starts at a lower price than the Forester, but the Forester comes standard with all- wheel drive. Both offer a wide range of advanced technology and feature content, even on the base models, but the Forester’s standard (and only) base engine is outgunned by the CX-5’s optional turbocharged engine that makes it much quicker and more entertaining no pave.

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2022 Subaru Forester

2022 Mazda CX-5

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$27,341 - $37,623

Used Asking Price:

$26,279 - $37,409

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

38.4%

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$29,226 - $38,742

Used Asking Price:

$23,999 - $34,276

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

39.8%

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.7 / 10

Reliability:

8.1 / 10

Retained Value:

8.1 / 10

Safety:

10.0 / 10

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.3 / 10

Reliability:

7.2 / 10

Retained Value:

8.0 / 10

Safety:

9.9 / 10

iSeeCars Rankings

3 / 61
4 / 24

iSeeCars Rankings

12 / 61
8 / 24

Summary Review

The Subaru Forester is a five-seat, compact SUV that foregoes the station wagon styling of other Subaru models for a more utilitarian, square-bodied design. The Forester has earned a reputation as a reliable and capable all-weather SUV with a spacious cabin and versatile cargo space. New models of the Forester cost an average of $32,632 and 3-year-old models average $23,752.

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Summary Review

The Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover with seating for five and a reputation as a favorite for drivers. The current Mazda CX-5 was redesigned for the 2017 model year, with new models costing an average of $32,211 and recent models averaging $23,771.

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Pros and Cons

  • All-wheel drive is standard
  • Better-than-average ground clearance and off-road capability
  • Large cargo area

  • Engine power could be stronger
  • Low tow rating may not match many buyers’ lifestyles
  • Continuously variable transmission (CVT) not to everyone’s liking

Pros and Cons

  • Dynamic driving experience
  • Near-luxury interior design and materials
  • Available 250-hp turbo engine on newer models

  • No hybrid available
  • Fuel economy lags class leaders
  • Non-turbo models could use more power

Available Body Styles

Wagon

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Trim Levels

Base, Premium, Sport, Wilderness, Limited, Touring

Trim Levels

2.5 S, 2.5 Turbo, 2.5 S Select, 2.5 S Carbon Edition, 2.5 S Preferred, 2.5 S Premium, 2.5 S Premium Plus, 2.5 Turbo Signature

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

3 years / 36000 miles

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

5 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK +

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

4.85 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK +

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

182 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque:

176 foot-lbs @ 4400 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.053 hp per pound

Tow/Haul Capacities:

Not yet available

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

187 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque:

186 foot-lbs @ 4000 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.050 hp per pound

Tow/Haul Capacities:

Not yet available

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.5 liters

Engine Configuration:

Flat/Horizontally Opposed

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT Automatic)

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

26 / 33 / 29

Range (city/hwy):

432 / 548 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.5 liters

Engine Configuration:

Inline

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Automatic

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

24 / 30 / 26

Range (city/hwy):

367 / 459 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

N/A

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Available

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Standard

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

N/A

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

Available

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Standard

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Standard

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

Available

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Available

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Available

360-Degree Camera:

N/A

Rear Seat Reminder:

Standard

Driver Attention Monitoring:

Available

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Standard

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Standard

360-Degree Camera:

Available

Rear Seat Reminder:

N/A

Driver Attention Monitoring:

Available

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

41.2 inches

Front Leg Room:

43.3 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

58.1 inches

Rear Head Room:

39.6 inches

Rear Leg Room:

39.4 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

57.2 inches

Cargo Space:

28.9 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

74.2 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

140.5 cubic feet

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

39.7 inches

Front Leg Room:

41 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

57.1 inches

Rear Head Room:

39 inches

Rear Leg Room:

39.6 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

54.8 inches

Cargo Space:

30.8 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

59.3 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

134.4 cubic feet

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

3454 lbs

Width:

80.9 inches

Height:

67.5 inches

Length:

182.7 inches

Wheelbase:

105.1 inches

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

3717 lbs

Width:

83.3 inches

Height:

66.1 inches

Length:

180.1 inches

Wheelbase:

106.2 inches

Ground Clearance:

7.6 inches

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

17.0 x 7.0 inches

Wheel Type:

steel

Tire Size:

225/60R17

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

17.0 x 7.0 inches

Wheel Type:

alloy

Tire Size:

P225/65R17